Dubai 2022 World Cup: CWG gold medallist Sudhir-led Indian team hope to end year on high

India’s top para powerlifters including Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sudhir will be out to end the year on a high when the Fazza 12th Dubai 2022 Para Powerlifting World Cup gets underway at the Dubai Club for People of Determination on Thursday.

Sudhir will be joined by former World Championships bronze medallist Parmjeet Kumar (men’s up to 65kg), Paralympians Farman Basha (men’s upto 54kg) and Shakina Khatun (women’s up to 45kg) in the 13-member Indian team who will be seeking for the all-important world ranking points in the qualification to Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

“This year has been very good. I want to continue the momentum and qualify for the Paris 2024 Paralympics in under 97kg, which is my main target here in Dubai,” said Sudhir, who will compete against the likes of Paralympic champion Jordan’s Abdelkareem Khattab and local star Mohammed Khamis Khalaf in the category.

Sudhir is also aiming to produce medal winning performances at the Asian Para Games and World Championships, due to be staged in Dubai in August 2023 and he is working hard towards that.

The team will also have Ashok Malik (men’s up to 65kg) and Manpreet Kaur (women’s up to 41kg), who won gold and bronze medals at the Pyeongtaek 2022 Asia Oceania Championships, besides some new names like Honey Dabas, Manish Kumar and Zainab Khatoon, the national champion.

Head coach J.P. Singh was confident of a good show by his team despite there was no camp held before the Championships. “Our preparation has been great. Everyone has been preparing in their own base and are ready now. We are expecting a good show by our lifters. It has been a great year for Indian para powerlifters and we are hoping to end the year on a high with at least 10 medals.”

Singh highlighted that the 2022 season has been the best year for the Indian powerlifters in recent times, with 22 medals at the Pyeongtaek 2022 Asia Oceania Championships being the high point of the team.

“Next year is going to be crucial with the Asian Para Games and World Championships lined up and we have already chalked out our plans to have a long training camp. We have got our new base in Chhatarpur with all modern equipment and sports science equipment and we hope our athletes will reach their target with their hard work and determination,” said Singh targeting several medals at Hangzhou 2022 APG.

Among the top names in the Dubai 2022 field include Mexican legend Amalia Perez who would aim for another golden show after the Paran American Games so as Jordan’s Paralympic stars Khattab and Omar Qarada. The Dubai 2022 World Cup which will witness 200 athletes from 36 countries vying for not just medals but important world rankings points for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The event will also be held under new Technical rules and regulation in age groups – Rookie, NextGen, Elite and Legend, a rule that allows a lifter to win medals in multiple age groups. Two medal types – Best Lift and Total Lift – were also established in this rule.

The rule of Referee Video referral for Lift Challenge will be implemented for the first time in a World Cup in Dubai.

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